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Sometimes 'going' means leaving

Signs that it’s time to step away from the Tobo church.

Chad and Janeene Mankins have been faithful in their obedience to “go and make disciples” among the Tobo people.

Now God is convincing them that it’s part of the “going” process to actually leave the village for a time in order for the small maturing church to take on responsibilities in teaching and discipleship as they have seen Chad and Janeene do.

It was seeing that the believers reached out to them with prayer and encouragement based on Scripture as they have faced some difficult things that has helped convince them that leaving for a while is a good next step.

They’ve seen maturity demonstrated as Tobo believers teach the Word of God. Chad recently started working through the newly translated Galatians with Ambox, a Bible teacher, to prepare him to then teach it to his own people.

Chad is finding that moving out to a location where he can focus on continuing the translation of the New Testament has afforded good progress. Then those who desire to teach will come out to his location for a time to have intense teaching as well as continue to assist him through the many steps of the translation process. This will be a help to the church back in the village as the Bible teacher returns to teach what he’s learned from God’s Word with Chad.

They’ve seen God use some adverse things to convince them that this move is going to actually help the church. Robberies have been on the rise and the community has not been able to stop it. Even food is being boldly taken from homes.

Some health issues, as well as educational needs for their children, have helped convince them as well.

Sometimes God uses our weaknesses to convince us of where He wants to show His power and strength in the lives of the Body of Christ where we minister. That is what Chad and Janeene are seeing as they submit to this change in their commitment to “go and make disciples.”

While it’s been a thrill to see believers like Ambox take ownership of teaching and encouraging the believers, having to relocate for the sake of the progress of this ministry has been a challenge.

Some of the physical things that Chad, Janeene and their children have chosen to focus on with thankful hearts have been very helpful in this challenge:

  • Their towels will actually dry, in the same calendar day, when they hang them up!
  • Their son noticed they have a microwave and a toaster.
  • Even the rainy days seem brighter since they are below the clouds rather than in the middle of them.
  • They have plenty of electrical power.
  • Chad won’t have to clean the sediment from the water filters up to six times a day as in their village home.
  • They will have sweet fellowship with others in this central location, in their own heart language, with a little less of the conversation revolving around the pigs, gardening, land feuds and sorcery.

Pray for them as they live in “two places at once.” Planning around rainy season so as not to get stuck separated from his young family, Chad says he’s spent, “a week in the village, able to do a comprehension check on four different New Testament books, about 650 verses total were checked, and Ambox now has enough lesson material to teach thru with the believers for the rest of the year.”

The plan is now to have Ambox and his family come out in August to Chad and Janeene’s second home for more face time, encouragement with other believers as well as help with more translation.

“Here, there, everywhere — all this talk of location, location, location, serves to remind us that those of us who have trusted in the finished work of our Saviour Jesus Christ are only passing through, and our final home is awaiting us. Good news for us missionaries who move way too many times and seem to always be saying good-byes to loved ones and moving from ‘home’ to ‘home,’” Chad writes.

Let’s pray for this very common need as God’s faithful ambassadors go and make disciples.

Posted in Asia-Pacific, News, Papua New Guinea, Prayer Requests, Tobo People